Cryptical Imperial Stout | Starr Hill Brewery

BA SCORE
85
very good
97 Ratings
THE BROS
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Cryptical Imperial StoutCryptical Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Starr Hill Brewery
Virginia, United States
starrhill.com

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.52%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by on 11-05-2010

BEER STATS
Ratings:
97
Reviews:
17
Avg:
3.77
pDev:
14.59%
 
 
Wants:
2
Gots:
6
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 97 |  Reviews: 17
Photo of Hopfenpeter
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured a absolute black and produced a light brown creamy finger high head that actually left good lacing.
The smell is of roasted malt, some coffee and has some hop notes in the nose.
The taste is roasted malts, coffee and dark bitter chocolate. In the finish there are quite a lot of hop flavors, which I find I characteristic for an imperial Stout.
Otherwise a nice drinkable Stout.

 394 characters

Photo of Beer_Runner
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 09/07/12, and aged about five weeks before opening.

A: A fairly aggressive pour into a standard pint glass produced about an eighth of a finger of dark mocha colored head that dissipated to a collar in about two minutes. It did not leave any lacing. The brew is a black hole type of black - absolutely opaque.

S: The aroma is primarily hops - a strong pine and citrus hops combined with an earthy hops that smells a little like wet leaves. And, there is just a small hint of coffee and grain.

T: The taste follows the aroma very closely. There is pine and citrus, and earthy wet leaves hops. There is not much of a malt backbone. At best there is a hint of coffee and grain.

M: The body is light and a little thin with a fairly high level of carbonation.

O: Somehow this beer really misses the mark. It is surprisingly mild for a Russian imperial stout. It does have an interesting hops profile with the pine and citrus combined with something that smells like wet leaves composting on a forest floor (but, not in a bad way). But, the lack of a malt backbone to provide balance and complexity, and make it a Russian imperial stout, really hurts this beer. The brewery might be onto something with the leaf-like hops, but there is still a lot of room for improvement with this beer.

 1,297 characters

Photo of hockeyfighter19
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of jp312
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of EFR94
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of Chaney
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm actually impressed they brewed this one.

Served in a snifter.

A: Black as night, with a slightly off-white head that clung to the glass and then some.

S: I got slight coffee notes, but overall this was pretty subdued on the nose. Also, there was a good bit of roast in there, much like a nice porter.

T: Lots of CO2-like qualities which I personally dig. Not chocolatey, not sweet, but very tasty. There was a bit of a "vegetable" quality in this beer. Very unique.

M: Like I stated, not sweet in the least bit. The lacing was absolutely ridiculous.

O: I was very surprised by how good this was. Kudos, Starr Hill!

 624 characters

Photo of odualum13
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of tripelz
1/5  rDev -73.5%

Photo of jsh5771
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of keanlacrosse
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of Hanzo
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of Lantern
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of hyoung41
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice looking stout, good and black with a nice light brown head that left a bit of a foamy cap and left sticky lace.

The smell and taste are of really pronounced burnt and deeply roasted malts, lots of espresso and french roast coffee, some smokiness, and a bit of bitterness that can only come from hops. GREAT combinations of flavors, this is one excellent beer!

Great mouthfeel too, wonderfully thick and rich with a roasty, lightly coffee/chocolate bitter aftertaste and just a bit of sweetness to finish.

Great job, I want more from this brewer and more of this beer.

Oddly, this particular American double/imperial stout isn't of the precise variety that I most prefer, but I still find myself extremely drawn to this beer. I usually like the more vanilla/sweet stouts and milk stouts better, but again, this one is the exception. The rather pronounced bitterness really accents the coffee and chocolate to an extent I hadn't quite anticipated and much enjoyed. Someone obviously put a lot of time and effort into this one, and I do appreciate it.

I would like more of this brewery and definitely want the barrel aged stuff. Great job!

 1,149 characters

Photo of WMEugene
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of AgentMunky
4.47/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Served in a ten ounce snifter at Brixx in Charlotteville. From notes. Reviewed 20 June 2011.

A: Dark black with a big head. Completely opaque.

S: Roasted malts. Sweet; vanilla beans or bourbon-soaked oak? Ensorcelling.

T: Mmm...Sweet-bitter coffee beans soaked in bourbon. The maintaste is full of dry hops, huge malts, and fantastic stout flavours. Though the main body is sadly short, the bitterer endtaste lingers.

M:A lightly drying beer, bitter so, and rather substantial.

O: I was sufficiently impressed by this beer that my (sober) review is full of modifying expletives, eliminated here for propriety's sake. It has all the flavours a double stout should and is obscenely drinkable. I will definitely have it again; highly recommended.

 748 characters

Photo of willabys
4.68/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bought at the brewery in a 750 ml bottle.

Pours Black, no light passing through the glass, Smells of a Heavy roast but not char, chocolate and nice hoppy aroma.

Taste is very rich and robust. Deep dark roast with out the carbonization of some over-roasted stouts. Nice hoppy flavors erupting, I am liking this one!

Lacing is very heavy running the full length of the glass.

Starr Hill knocks it out of the park with this one. Do check it out!

 447 characters

Photo of engagechad
4.38/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Purchases fresh at the Starr Hill Brewery in a 2 liter growler.

Pours extremely dark with a fat tan head, easy to manipulate depending on how aggressively you pour. Leaves the stickiest lacing I've ever seen. Smells largely of hops, cascade? Very nice on the nose with some roasty aromas mixed in. The taste is extremely bitter while still maintaining a smooth mouthfeel with chocolate undertones.

This is an incredible beer, which is why I got 2 liters of it. Starr Hill gets beef because they get AB distribution, but damn this beer is good. Give it a shot if you're in the Crozet/Charlottesville, VA area

 611 characters

Photo of dtivp
3.59/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep black with a massive large dark tan head with very long retention and light lacing.

Aroma of roasty malts and burnt grain and smoke.

Taste was dominated by burnt roasted malt, some dark chocolate and a hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel was medium body and smooth with a slight bitter finish.

Overall this was lacking the big heavy body beer taste that I like with an Imperial stout. I would place this as a slightly above average stout.

 446 characters

Photo of argock
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a 10oz goblet at Beer Run (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Black with cap of off-white head with some thin lace.

S: Strong toasted malt aroma with a moderately acrid edge, soft berry alcohol, and earthy hops

T: The burnt, toasted character is even stronger in the flavor and unfortunately overwhelms any subtleties that might be lurking under the surface. The black malt is accompanied by a little bitter dark chocolate and earthy hops.

M: A nice full feel accentuated by the cask delivery. Carbonation is low (duh) and makes for a very smooth experience.

D: A liked but didn't love this brew -- the harsh burned edge seems a little out of place and over the tops and doesn't let some of the finer qualities to come through.

 740 characters

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Cryptical Imperial Stout from Starr Hill Brewery
3.77 out of 5 based on 97 ratings.
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